I got a call from a client last week. We worked together three years ago to develop a targeted, content rich resume that was appealing to employers looking for Project Management candidates in the Industrial Construction industry. He was successful in landing several interviews and accepted a job just seven weeks after we finished working together. It was nice catching up and hearing of his successes and challenges since we last spoke.
We eventually came to the reason for his call. He was concerned with the security of the job he is currently holding. The recession is taking a toll on his company and since he has only been with them three years he was unsure he could hold on to his job if they did a second round of layoffs. He called to see if we could update his resume so he would be prepared should something happen.
During our conversation we talked about what he could do now, at his current position, to improve his odds of staying with the company which he truly enjoys working for. We discussed many ways to stay competitive or even ahead of his coworkers and hopefully promote enough value to keep his job.
Here are some of the suggestions I offered him.
Realize as an employee, that career management is an ongoing endeavor. An employee must continually work to manage his career and stay competitive if he wants to outlast his coworkers (competitors). This includes communicating, researching, and learning about his industry, economy, position, competition, community needs and anything else that will help him remain current and even looking to the future in his position. Over the years it is easy to get busy or complacent but staying curious will help to keep you motivated and meeting new people.
Staying active in your industry and meeting new people will help to grow your network and maintain your existing contacts throughout your career. It is a great way to keep your contacts aware of you as well as your strengths, skills, and value. Keeping your ear to the ground helps you stay on the cutting edge in your industry.
Additional things to do to stay motivated, excited and curious and let others see your value are to ask questions, take classes, and get certified. Keep your strengths high and your expertise fresh with ongoing professional development. It will also pay off to work harder than others in your office, department or company. This might mean putting in more hours, taking the undesirable projects, and providing suggestions and improvements that will get you noticed. Working hard and letting your results speak for you, will get you noticed and hopefully keep you employed.
Career management should not be lost sight of, but should be ongoing throughout your career. Staying on top of your industry, working hard and staying motivated will definitely improve your odds of keeping your job. But unfortunately in some cases even this may not be enough. Then, is your hard work all for not? Absolutely not. Instead, it will improve your resume and success stories, and give your employers a great deal of content to include in your referral. So strive to be the best you can be, it will be worth it!
Shine On Job Seekers!